There are 365 days in a year, and you’ve been getting along fine on your own. Whether you miss your ex, or would rather read their obituary, the mere mention of Valentine’s Day can sting if you’re not a happy single. Seeing PDA’s is enough to make most of us cringe at any time of the year. However, on Valentine’s day if you’re single it can be downright depressing. Instead of feeling warm and fuzzy inside at the sight of a man with a bouquet of red roses, it might make you feel jaded, frustrated or even a little bit angry.
I’ve always thought Valentine’s Day was a bit peculiar. Surely your partner should regularly show you love, not be generally unromantic and then, on February 14th produce a cheaply manufactured Teddy Bear holding a shiny, synthetic heart. Every year those in relationships are pressured into buying mass produced cards, sickly confectionary, flowers and helium balloons. We book over-priced dinners, dress ourselves in racy lingerie and flaunt our love on social media. Some of us even propose! I’m with you if you’re thinking that Valentine’s day is a little bit daft, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t kind of enjoy the madness. I’m wildly romantic and enjoy acting surprised when my boyfriend earnestly produces a bouquet of flowers that societal pressure has essentially forced him to buy.
It’s absolutely, totally and utterly okay to be dateless and single on Valentine’s day (and any other day of the year for that matter). It’s also okay if you want to change your single status. So, here are four tips to increase your chances of being someone’s “Valentine” next year.
1. Exercise Optimism
Studies show that people who are optimistic about finding love are much more likely to succeed. If you’re a natural pessimist, it can be irritating to hear phrases like “just be more positive” or “If you smile, you’ll be more approachable”. What can you do to become more positive? I recommend engaging in activities that bring more joy into your life regardless of whether they’re linked to dating. Another tip is to begin to write down your negative thoughts and examine whether they’re OPINIONS or facts. If you have lots of negative opinions it might be worthwhile speaking to a coach or a therapist about these beliefs because they will be hindering your possibility of meeting someone new. Another strategy is to get your family and friends to write down all your good qualities and the reasons why you will make someone a good partner. Having physical evidence to read each day that positively affirms us can be hugely beneficial and help us to begin to feel more optimistic about our chances of meeting someone.
2. Examine your “Pickiness”
It’s brilliant when people know what qualities they want in a partner and I’m not suggesting that you “settle”, but it’s also important to be realistic. Do your friends tell you that you’re too fussy? Do you look at their healthy relationships and think things like “I would never settle for that”? Pickiness can be a sign of an issue with commitment. What’s a good way to avoid getting hurt? Having a list of requirements so long that no one can realistically tick all your boxes. There are two ways of working out if you’re too picky: Firstly, you’ve been told it by more than one person. If not, ask your friends if they think you’re too picky and take on board what their opinions are without becoming defensive. Secondly write your list of partner requirements and tick each box off that you think also applies to yourself. Don’t be alarmed, I’m not asking all middle-aged bald blokes to shack up with other middle-aged bald blokes. I’m asking you to ask “Am I the gender equivalent of what I seek?”. If there are several boxes that you cannot tick, then it could be that you’re overly picky and hindering your chances of meeting someone wonderful. They say that opposites attract but the reality is that similarities hold relationships together.
3. Dabble in Online Dating
I know, I know, everyone hates online dating apps. They’re full of time wasters, “ghosts” and people that don’t look like their photos. However they’re also full of people who actually want to meet someone special. How do I know? I have come across lots of men and women who use apps to find long-term relationships, and a recent E-Harmony study predicts that by 2040 70% of new couples will meet online. More and more people are signing up to apps now and if used mindfully they are a totally viable way of making that first introduction.
4. Hire a Matchmaker
If you’re still against online dating you might find that working with a Matchmaker is a good option for you. It’s proven to be one of the most effective ways of securing a long-term relationship. But why hire a matchmaker when you can just meet people yourself? We’re not always the best judge of what will work for us and some of our “deal breakers” are unnecessarily limiting. A matchmaker has expert knowledge about compatibility that is far more effective than judging people based on mutual hobbies, their height and their ability to craft a decent dating profile. Matchmakers also meet the people on their books which adds an extra level of security for nervous daters, and means that people cannot lie about their height, age or what they look like. Matchmakers often work with dating coaches who are on-hand to talk through any issues and self-sabotaging that might be holding you back from meeting someone special. Having expert eyes on your dating life and someone vetting people for you opens you up to focusing on other areas of your life such as your family, health and career.